Greens not growing well

Asked July 10, 2018, 9:59 PM EDT

Kale not growing

Multnomah County Oregon kale horticulture vegetable gardening

15 Responses

Thank you for your question. I’m wondering if you mean that it isn’t growing as large as you expected, or not as green or what? It does appear to have some yellowing, which may be due to inadequate fertilizer (nitrogen, specifically). There appear to be some holes, probably from slugs (there appears to be a little one on the bottom right leaf. Kale grows best in cool conditions, which isn’t what we now have. Without knowing your specific concerns, the best I can do is to refer you to this OSU article, which may have ideas: https://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/ho/other/fs8860.pdf Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

Any recommendations in a good water soluble fertilizer. ? Thanks

Not only can the Extension service not recommend a brand, but water soluble fertilizers aren’t useful (or economical) for outdoor plants. The liquid travels quickly beyond the roots, ends up in the aquifer ans soon provides the nutrients causing algae bloom, such as we’ve been experiencing in Oregon lakes, the Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico, to name a few. Extension recommends using organic, composted material that is Mother Nature’s “time release fertilizer.” Here’s a downloadable Extension article that explains how the use of organic materials helps both your soil and your plants: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec1561 Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

Can I use cow manure as fertilizer?

Yes, you can safely use cow manure that has been aged at least 4 months, so that harmful bacteria are killed, as this article explains: https://hort.uwex.edu/articles/safely-using-manure-garden/

I am growing in containers, so how do I replete minerals that are washed off ? will manure replace or do I need to feed plant food ?

In the same way that Mother Nature doesn't require chemical fertilizers in the forests, plants can gain nutrients from the breakdown of organic structures (such as manure, leaves, roots, etc.). The process returns the 'minerals' to the plant, because a dead structure doesn't need them any more. They're dead. Recycled. You should not need to use 'plant food' (meaning chemically produced fertilizers) if you use Mother Nature's fertilizer: organic material. Again, though, the manure needs to be aged at least 120 days to kill bacteria. The fewer manmade chemicals you add, the longer it will take for the nutrients to leach out of ('washed off') the soil. Ditch the 'plant food.' Use organic fertilizers!

Thanks. I tried that before. But when I asked around I was told container plants are not able to get enough through manure and therefore need to buy the miracle gro stuff. I will probably apply more frequent - every 2 weeks manure then ?

If you want to use MiracleGro, just follow package directions. You can over-fertilize.

No, i wanted to avoid all the chemical fertilisers . Besides manure anything else I need to do for container plants ? I do mulch also . Also any organic way to get rid of aphids ?

MiracleGrow is a chemical. There are organic mixtures available in all garden centers. Aphid control: pick or blast them off with water; ladybugs.

Thanks ,is there any seal of approval to look for since gets confusing they all say they are earth friendly and organic

We’re not allowed to recommend specific brands. However, the letters OMRI mean they are certified organic by the Organic Materials Review Institute.

Should I mix in manure about 3 months prior to planting to release the slow release fertilizer into the soil ?

You can do that. Please refer to the articles I sent you with safety tips.